The garlic that you purchase from the grocery store is actually a bulb protected by a papery covering. The garlic bulb consists of wedge-shaped cloves that form a dense clump. While garlic traditionally grows from individual cloves planted in an outdoor garden, gardeners can also plant the cloves in pots for indoor growing. With proper care, a few garlic cloves will produce healthy new bulbs that you can use for cooking and replanting to repeat the cycle.
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Things you need
- 5-gallon pot
- Organic potting soil
- Garlic cloves
- Grow light
- Plant heating pad
Fill a pot ¾ full with organic potting soil. A 2- to 3-gallon pot will provide plenty of space for growing. The pots should measure at least 10 inches deep. Press individual garlic cloves ½ inch deep into the soil, pointed end up. Space garlic cloves at least 5 inches apart.
Water the garlic cloves immediately after planting. Keep the soil moist, not wet, throughout the growing process. Allow the water to flow through the layers of soil and out the bottom of the pot with each watering. Indoor garlic usually requires watering once every other week.
Set the pot in an area that receives at least six hours of bright, indirect sunlight. If you do not have access to bright, indirect sunlight indoors, set the pot under a grow light set to run for at least 12 hours per day.
Slide a plant heating pad under the pot. Garlic prefers to grow in temperatures between 18.3 and 21.1 degrees Celsius. Set the plant heating pad to the required temperature to keep the garlic warm as it grows.
Continue to maintain light, water and warmth as the garlic grows. Garlic cloves mature in approximately four to six months. The green foliage will turn yellow and fall to the side when the garlic is ready for harvest. Repeat the process in fresh soil after digging up the cloves.
Tips and warnings
- The foliage of the garlic plant is also edible. Ideal harvesting time is when the foliage reaches 8 to 10 inches in height. Simply snip the greens at the soil line with a pair of sharp scissors. It is important to keep in mind that if you harvest the greens, the garlic bulbs will not develop.
- Do not overwater the garlic. If the soil feels moist to the touch, do not add more water. Only water the soil when it begins to feel dry.
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